Bread & Sustainability

Bread & Sustainability

The original bread and milk “floats” that delivered around Dublin and other cities were electric powered, and when we look back at this practice, we can see how things have come full circle, with electric cars and vehicles once again evident on our streets.

Every year, one third of all food produced ends up being wasted. Ireland has committed to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which include a target of halving per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses by 2030. Reducing food waste has positive social and environmental impacts. An estimated one million tonnes of food waste is generated throughout the food system in Ireland annually. Food companies, including IBBA members, work continuously to minimise food waste in their businesses, by monitoring their production processes to identify inefficiencies and exploring new ways to use waste and by-products.

Sustainable consumption and production is about promoting resource and energy efficiency, sustainable infrastructure, and providing access to basic services, green and decent jobs and a better quality of life for all. Its implementation helps to achieve overall development plans, reduce future economic, environmental and social costs, strengthen economic competitiveness and reduce poverty.


Product development, process and efficiency improvements, local sourcing where possible and practical
, and optimised transport and distribution, for example, secure bread production with a lower environmental impact - at considerably less expense.

IBBA members are committed to sustainable production and reducing their carbon footprints. To achieve this, they are involved in a number of sustainability initiatives. For example:

Ø The Bord Bia Origin Green project is the world’s first sustainability programme for a country’s entire food and drink industry. Origin Green enables Ireland’s farmers and food producers to make measurable sustainability commitments which allow the industry to reduce its environmental impact and serve local communities more effectively. Brennan’s Bread is proud to be a member of Origin Green.

Ø Both of Johnston Mooney & O’Brien’s bakeries were converted to 100% LED lighting in past four years. They are also working on increasing their recyclable waste, and the waste split has gone from 30% recycled in 2018 to 50% today.

Ø The wax paper packaging on Brennan’s Family Pan white sliced pan and other breads, is now 100% recyclable and compostable;

Ø Irish Pride, Pat the Baker, Johnston Mooney & O’Brien and Brennan’s are all members of Repak. Repak is an environmental not-for-profit organisation, with a social mission to lead the recycling and sustainability of Ireland’s packaging waste; advocate for a new circular economy; and educate businesses and consumers on reducing and recycling packaging waste.

Working sustainably is a work in progress and will be an ongoing, essential element of all our bakers’ operations for the future of their businesses, their customers and, of course, the planet.

For more information, check out these resources:

1. https://www.worldbakers.com/process/gary-tucker-sustainability-in-baking/

2. https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/media/migration/research/researchprioritactionplans/ActionPlanSustainableFoodProductionandProcessing.pdf

3. http://futureinfood.ie/sustainability/

4. https://sdg.fooddrinkeurope.eu

5. Irish Times sustainability survey https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/food-and-drink/how-sustainable-is-ireland-s-food-industry-1.3704137

6. www.origingreen.ie

7. www.un.org

8. https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/media/migration/foodindustrydevelopmenttrademarkets/agri-foodandtheeconomy/foodwise2025/report/htmlfiles/4.%20sustainability.htm

logo - Twitter